This year, I'll only be participating once. Mainly because I'm more concerned about what to do after the results are out for Arashi's Hawaii Blast Tour.
I went over to the Dome and found my seat. It was the third row on the second floor!
They switched the usual principal photos for black and white ones of the members as “boy scouts”. Of course, there is one of a pair fishing together.
The stage was set in the center with four pens for the sheep spread out around it. Also, the sign for motto changed to "日々是友情"、"hibi kore yuujou". (Noticing friendship around you)
10 minutes before 5:00, the staff started filing out to the stage and they just kept coming! There were over 50 people down there.
The lights went down and each of the members yelled out "Yahoooo!" into the darkness. They laughed at Aiba's and at the final one Ohno cried out.
The VTR started with Sho at his show, Abunai Yakai. He was flipping through his script and noticed a drawing in the corner. He kept flipping the pages and it transformed into a flower, then the Arashi logo. He jumped up, lights flashed, the professor lab coat appeared, then disappeared, leaving him in a track suit and holding a bug-catching net.
Nino was in a dressing room getting his face powdered. The video fast-forwarded as the makeup lady continued to shove it in his face. When she finally stopped, he saw the Arashi school logo on the pad. His accessory was a guitar.
Jun was in a recording booth. Taking a break, he saw a basket of fruit on the coffee table in front of him. He paused and made a worried face cuz there was a watermelon plopped in the middle. Reaching out, he turned the basket around slowly. The watermelon had the Arashi school logo carved into it beautifully. He made a fun face at that. Bowing politely to the camera, he changed outfits. His came with a pile of wood on his back.
Aiba was in a park, eating a popsicle. He glanced at the stick, seeing the "あ" there and got excited, thinking it was a lucky "あたり" stick that would give him a free ice cream. He ate some more and frowned at the next character "る". The message actually said "あるよ" with the logo at the bottom. (aru yo, or meaning that you've got school today!) His prop was lunch boxes. He waved them at us.
Ohno was in his Shinigami-kun costume at a fake shooting in a hospital room. He was trying to look super cool while the director told him what to do for the scene. The camera rolled and he held out his business card to the camera, introducing himself. The director called out "That's not the right one." Ohno looked at the card, saw the school logo, and made an awesome face of disbelief. Naturally, he was holding a fishing pole and making a girly pose.
From the back of the dome, a rainbow-colored bus drove out. It didn't go far cuz there was a bus stop sign about ten feet away.
S: Sorry for making you wait!
The filed out of the bus, splitting into two groups and jogging around to the sides. Ohno and Jun were on our side. There was a fence all around the edge, so they had to climb over. Jun supported himself with one arm and hopped over the fence. Ohno put a foot on it and climbed over, but he almost lost his balance and the fence wobbled unsteadily after.
The ANS trio simply walked through a gap at the back.
J: This kind of feels different than usual.
S: There're lots of people here.
Ohno yelled out experimentally, "Yahooo!", to which we immediately replied. He thought it was fun because he did it again.
S: They responded so quickly! (without knowing what was going on)
They briefly introduced what Waku Waku was and that this year was a gasshuku, or a training camp.
J: Our lessons will all take place out of the classroom this year.
O: It's not like our usual school.
J: The point will be to study about friendship and making new friends.
He was only beginning his explanation, but Sho jumped in front of the camera like past years, leaving Jun standing in the background, pointing at himself, the one who should be doing the talking.
O: Let's make a circle.
They laughed at how into it he was and at his lousy explanation of what he wanted the crowd to shout after them. It was "Oh!" twice and after they yelled "Waku Waku", we finished "Gasshuku". Everybody put their arms over each others shoulders and Ohno ordered the people on the aisles who were almost too far apart to reach to "do something about."
Nino did the call. “Let's make new friends!” “Oh!”
Facing the crowd again, Jun told us, “It's almost our 15th anniversary.”
O: Because we were not just coworkers, but also friends, we've been able to stay together this long.
A: Even as Juniors, we had meals together as friends.
J: That's why we realized something important. You know there is Father's Day and Mother's Day, but no Friend's Day.
S: We did a bit of research. Actually it's a holiday that is celebrated in South America. So we thought we'd try it out in Japan too. What do you think?
A: It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to make friends immediately. There was nobody to start the holiday, so we figured we would do it. Along with all of you!
The date was July 20th. Since it was getting close to the date, they wanted to use Waku Waku as a chance to think about what to do for it.
Nino's lesson was first.
N: There's something I want to do. I'll say it right away... sheep.
We laughed at his abruptness. A camera zoomed up on one of the sheep's faces.
N: See how cute it is. There are 40 of them and I want you to herd them into the fenced area over there.
He pointed toward the front of the dome. Nino told them he'd prepared a VTR to show them how to do it. It was only a video of a sheep herder with his two dogs. When he whistled, the dogs responded by running to bring the sheep in. They successfully maneuvered them all into a small space, cramming them all in.
N: If you work together like this, you can do it. Since there are four adults here, you should be able to pull it off.... (No one made a move.) I mean you four.
We laughed as the members jumped up.
They split into two groups. Aiba and Jun made one team and Ohno and Sho were the other.
J: Which team do you think will do better? Though there's no saying that either of us will do well.
N: For now, you guys will be the “big brother team”(onii-san) and you guys will be the “old man team” (ojii-san).
S: We're not “old men”!
Ohno was standing behind him, half-heartedly protesting too.
S: If we are, then in 2 years, you guys will be “old men” too!
They all laughed at Sho's comeback.
J: What I want to know is why we've only been successful at this the first session at Osaka and never after that.
Nino told him snarkily, “It's because you didn't watch the VTR closely enough!”
The time limit was three minutes. The “old man” team was on our side! Jun and Aiba tried to discuss a strategy, but Nino cut them off by. Ohno started running over to the back group of sheep, but we giggled at how cute his run was. They all began approaching their sheep. Jun's group dashed off as the gate opened.
J: They're really fast!
Sho was clapping his hands, forcing them backwards. However, they just ran around the circle fence in the opposite direction, leaving Sho back where he started.
Ohno's group had joined Aiba and Jun's on the other side, so they work together to lead them back toward the front. Sho's group started walking in the right direction, but two escaped him. Nino pointed it out and Sho yelled to them, “Catch up with us!” Surprisingly, they did turn around.
Right as they were all nearing the front pen, their group of sheep all gathered together. They were having trouble getting the first one to go in. A few were about to go around to the other side, so Sho hurried over to block them off.
Nino yelled at them, “This isn't a “Stop the Sheep” game! You've got 30 seconds.”
Ohno began waving his arms up and down in an attempt to get them to move. The seconds were counting down and a few sheep squeezed by Aiba, leading all of the other sheep to follow them. They got so close, but time was up right as the sheep started to scatter.
S: We were so close!
N: At least you improved from Osaka Dome's performance.
O: So close...
Jun yelled out, pointing to where the sheep had gathered. It was at one of the Waku Waku school logos made out of flowers.
J: They're eating it! We still need that for tomorrow!
The herder from the video appeared with his dogs to quickly gather the sheep and got them all into one of the pens.
N: That's how you should have done it.
J: Why can they do it so smoothly?
S: I can't believe it.
J: Were we moving too slow?
Nino closed his lesson with the importance of working together with your friends. “If you work together, your power will be doubled.”
Next was Sho's lesson.
S: I know this is sudden, but hello.
The other members replied back. Sho turned to the crowd and said hello to us too. We yelled “Konnichiwa” back and laughed when Sho asked, “Genki?” (Are you doing okay?) Of course we yelled that we were.
S: This is another simple way to make friends. By using greetings. It's the same around the world.
A VTR demonstrated four different greetings: France – kissing each others cheek, New Zealand – rubbing your noses together, Mongol – smelling each other, and Kenya – while shaking hands, you spit on the back of your friend's hand. (Apparently, they believe spit has the power to ward off bad luck.) We were pretty disgusted by it anyway.
A: It'd be surprising if someone did that to me. And it looks like a lot!
N: Can you rub it off after?
O: So you have to wait until it drys?
We all laughed at their expressions. Sho was given a box and he stuck his hand in. He pulled out a purple ball and then a blue ball. Jun stood up and said, “Satoshi-kun, let's do this.”
As they moved to where a spinning wheel was waiting, Sho grabbed the edge, preparing to spin it.
N: Sensei, we want to see Kenya's.
Nino started clapping, calling out “Kenya, Kenya.” We soon joined in.
Sho spun the wheel and it slowed down as it got to Kenya, and then it stopped there! Seeing that, Jun and Ohno fell on their knees.
Aiba, Nino, and Sho celebrated by shaking hands, saying excitedly that it hadn't come once in Osaka.
Returning to his teacher mode, Sho explained what they'd have to do.
S: This is a normal greeting in Kenya. And make sure both of you spit.
J: Can we wipe it off after?
S: Not right away. After that, I leave it to your discretion.
N: Just imagine this is Kenya.
Ohno and Jun did the spit hand shake, then Ohno rubbed the back of his hands together and showed them off to us, saying “Yay! Yay!”. Jun followed his lead.
J: It felt very new. Aiba, you haven't been to Kenya before, have you?
A: No, I haven't yet.
O: It feels like I can go to Kenya now.
S: It wasn't too difficult to do?
J: Because I know him. If it had been a stranger, I don't know.
S: To talk to new people, you have to be brave. Let's introduce some easy techniques.
A video played of Sho in “disguise” as a fisher, Shoutarou. He had on a black wig, a floppy hat, glasses, a plaid shirt, and a fisher vest. The setting was at a fishing pond.
Sho asking if he could sit next to one of the old men, but he said he had a long pole, so no. Rejected, Sho wandered around looking for a good target. He tried talking to a new guy, exclaiming when the man caught a fish and asking how big it was. The old man ignored him at first.
A: Shoutarou? Why haven't you started fishing yet?
The first technique was to use close questions.
He tried saying, “It's nice weather, isn't it? Do you come here a lot?
The man finally started replying to Sho. The second technique was to introduce yourself by putting yourself down, either of something you weren't good at or something that had gone wrong recently. Shoutarou said he'd been fishing several times, but hadn't been able to fish a thing. The old man laughed at that, finally introducing himself as Ito. The third was to search for other things you have in common. Sho asked if he had other hobbies, but Ito said he didn't. On the video, a bubble that read “Shock 1” popped up. The sheep must have thought it was a shock too, cuz they started “meh~~”ing. Sho tried asking about alcohol, but Ito didn't drink. That was “Shock 2”. His last question was where Ito lived (Shinjuku) and “Chance!” popped up. Continuing the conversation of the topic of fishing in Ichigaya, Sho convinced Ito to come with him sometime to help him buy a beginner's pole.
J: Getting that far in 30 minutes was fast.
They showed a picture they took of the two of them, smiling and giving matching peace signs.
S: We told Ito about the experiment afterward and a few days later, he sent me this pole. Ohno-san, how is it?
Ohno fiddled with it and said, “Sho-kun, now you have to go fishing.”
Sho said smugly, “If you're interested, I can introduce you to Ito-chan.”
He wanted us to give the three techniques a try right away by using them on our neighbors. (“Is this your first time at Waku Waku? I'm _, but I'm bad at _. I was almost late today/ got lost coming here.)
S: And lastly, things you have in common. “What do you like about Arashi?” It kind of felt weird saying that myself...
Lot of people around were shaking hands and talking. Sho's last point was that if you know six people, you can connect to anywhere in the world from friends of friends. It might be hard to talk, but you have to try. Where you are from, whether you're boys or girls doesn't matter. If you don't start talking, you'll never connect.
Aiba's lesson was next.
He held up a large bell and rang it.
A: Now it's time for the long-awaited bento time! Who brought their own bento?
A lot raised their hands.
A: Who made their own with almost no help?
Most raised their hands again.
A: So why did we ask you to bring your own bento? Because if you eat together with your friends, you'll get to know more about them from their bento. By the way, today only it's alright to eat in the dome. Let's eat!
While we were munching on our food, they showed pictures the staff had taken of people's bentos beforehand. There were a lot with the member's names on them and with Arashi too. One happened to have Funasshi on it, so Jun did his high-pitched impression.
They asked a camera man in the crowd to find someone's lunch box for them to see. They stopped at a boy who showed us his bento. It had a really awesome Shinigami-kun silhouette made out of seaweed on the rice.
Sho asked the mom how she'd made it. She'd traced the silhouette from the goods and cut it out of a sheet of seaweed.
A: Are you two family?
N: Of course they are!!
A: What do you like best out of your mom's cooking?
Because he was holding a wiener at the time, he said that.
A: What do you wish your mom wouldn't put in your lunches?
The boy quickly said green peppers, paprika, and tomatoes. Unfortunately, in his box were mini tomatoes. They tried to encourage him to eat it by making Ohno support him.
J: You can do it, ex-Shinigami-kun.
They asking if he'd watched the drama and the boy said he did.
Ohno began with “Congratulations, I've come to get you,” but the members jumped on him, telling him it was way too early for that.
O: Why don't you try one of the tomatoes? It'll have a new taste for you.
The boy popped it in his mouth.
A: How is it? You can tell us the truth.
The crowd burst out laughing at that, along with Arashi.
S: But you still ate it! How admirable of you!
The second group the camera stopped on were some girls from Indonesia.
A: How long have you been in Japan?
They said three months. The camera zoomed in on their bento. One of them was Yakisoba Migoren. Jun knew of it and had eaten it before.
A: Did you make it?
She said she had. The other two had a meat that is alright for Islams to eat in their bento.
Nino joked that if they could speak Japanese that well after three months, then Aiba should be able to do the same.
Having looked at everyone else's food, they were getting hungry.
J: We also eat at your corner.
A: So I asked your moms what kind of bentos they used to make for you when you were kids. Today's is Jun's lunch.
It was a two layer bento. There were these small rolled sandwiches and chicken wings.
J: I always liked the egg sandwiches.
Aiba pulled out a letter written by his mom.
A: Matsumo- ah, no, wait, Jun-chan wasn't picky about his food, but he didn't like karaage (fried chicken).
N: You hated karaage?
N: You should be grateful to your mom.
J: I am.
Aiba explained how the topping his mom sprinkled on Jun's rice balls was homemade and she often made various kinds.
A: I had to be careful to add many varieties and the seaweed MUST be crunchy. I had to cut it up and put it separately.
S: She worked hard to write out such a long comment.
A: Today, we're gonna make the chicken wings. In other words, if you eat this, you'll become Jun.
They laughed at his summary.
J: Sorry, Ohno-san. I washed my hands.
He realized it after he'd already finished.
O: We can do it again later.
There were a lot of ingredients. They started by cutting a slit in the wings to let the flavors in.
A: For oil... about 5 seconds.
They wished he'd stop using seconds to decide how much to add.
S: And yet, surprisingly, he's a good cook.
Aiba put in the chicken and held up the glass lid in front of himself, like a shield. “You can guard against hot oil like this.”
N: It's hot!
O: But it's still coming this way!
He picked up a pair of tongs with his right hand and kept his shield in his left. They put the rest of the ingredients in the pan.
S: How long will it take?
A: About 30 minutes.
They started protesting, saying it was impossible to wait that long.
A: Of course, we can do it. Close your eyes.
He switched out his frying pan for another one that had been prepared earlier.
Jun and Aiba shared a high five.
Aiba began dishing out the wings, muttering that he had to be careful with the “kotori-san” (little birds). Sho giggled loudly at that.
N: J should try it first.
He set it down and licked his fingers.
J: Ah! I only just licked a little, but this taste is nostalgic.
They dug in while Aiba explained more about bento. On a platform that raised up, the staff set up futons for each of the members.
A: If you eat together with your friends, you can get closer to them. So on July 20th, try going out and eat with them. Share your homemade flavors and realize “mine tastes like his” and “his tastes like mine”. Starting from a lunch box, your circle of friends will grow. Also, thank you to Jun's mom.
They stood up and stretched.
O: Since we're full, let's sleep.
The others smirked at his sudden declaration.
O: Remember last year? We learned about how sleep helps your memory. It resets your tired mind. So let's all sleep. I know some of you were still eating, but you can finish it later. For now, let's sleep.
N: Wait, so they're eating, they stop in the middle of it to sleep, then wake up and keep eating?!
They all settled down into their futons.
A: This is the first time for something like this at Tokyo Dome.
Nino was yawning. The lights turned off. The camera zoomed in on their sleeping faces, making the crowd scream. Ohno shot straight up, looking confused. “What's wrong?” We laughed at his expression.
O: Everyone, let's be quite and sleep. The whole dome. Good night.
It quieted down briefly, but we soon laughed again at the screams of the roller coaster outside. The sheep also started “meh”ing a bit. They laid still for about two minutes until their alarm clock went off at 6:18.
J: We can keep sleeping, right?
A familiar melody began playing. It was a different electronic version of GUTS. They hopped out of their futons, slipped on their shoes in a hurry, and started singing the “Na na na na”s. The original track kicked in and they did the dance moves from the chorus.
S: What's with that alarm?
O: Did you wake up?
O: Let's go on to the second half. There are already countries that celebrate Friend's Day, so let's take a look at what they usual do. Sakurai-sensei?
Sho introduced a news clip of the casual drinking parties people held all over the city on that day. The origin had to do with one psychology teacher who saw the Apollo 11 land on the moon and thought it would be nice if people around the world could connect and become friends. He sent out 1000 letters to many countries and managed to get back 700 replies.
To properly begin the second half, Ohno proposed we all make a circle again.
N: You just like doing that, don't you?
We stood up, linked arms, and did our shouts. As we sat down, Jun commented that we could keep eating if we weren't done yet.
Jun's corner was the “Arashi Friendship Test Game”. He was about to tell us the rules, but a sound effect played loudly in the background, cutting him off. Jun looked surprised for a second and started over. The staff brought out the set. Today's target was Ohno!
4 things that Ohno might like were set up in a row. Ohno could choose only one of those four. The other members would try to guess what it was and a “real bridge” would be placed across the styrofoam pit, leading to their answer. If it was correct, Ohno would get the prize. If he chose something other than that one, he'd step onto a “fake bridge” made of foam that would drop him straight into the pit. Jun's voice got funny as he mentioned the falling part and Ohno made a face at hear it.
The items were a fishing pole meant to pull in big fish like maguro, a light cooler box, a reel with a great grip, and a set of 500 color pencils.
Jun passed him a set of headphones to keep him from hearing their guess.
N: How much do you want it?
O: I want it right now.
A: How long have you wanted it?
O: A year ago.
J: No more hints!
Jun forced him to put the headphones on, selected “Paradox” from the list, and told him to stay there.
O: So nostalgic!
He sat down on the top of the stairs and listened to the song.
S: How about the pencils?
N: How is he supposed to take it home?
A: I think he has some already.
J: My image is that he's always painting with oils and water colors.
A: So he might want it?
S: The others are ones he should just buy himself.
J: Does he need another reel?
Sho picked up the pole and flicked it.
S: I don't think size is important to him. He just likes fishing for the sake of fishing.
A: Catch and release.
J: Okay, we choose the pencils.
The staff started putting up the bridges. Ohno took off the headphones and Sho asked him how the song was. Aiba started making those “oh, ha” grunts they sing in the middle.
N: It was easy to choose yours.
O: I thought so.
N: Make sure you run really fast.
S: But fall is really scary~~~.
He would know because he's fallen on this game already.
A: It'll be fine.
J: As long as you don't fall in the pit.
A: It'll be fine.
S: It's really scary~~~!
N: Believe in us.
A (In English): Believe.
3, 2, 1, go!
He ran full out... right toward the reel. He plummeted down when the bridge crumpled and ended up in a weird position where we could only see his leg propped up against the broken bridge.
Ohno said in an annoyed voice, “Nande da!” (Why?!)
J: You already have a ton of reels at home.
Still annoyed, he growled, “I don't have THAT one.”
They showed a slow-motion VTR of him falling again.
O: That was scary.
Jun reached down to help him climb out and pulled Ohno's hand close. Then he spit on it, making everyone laugh and Oh-chan grimace. Ohno rubbed the back of his hands together again and showed them to the crowd.
J: It wasn't the pencils?
O: I have a set. Ogura-san gave them to me.
J: I always thought you used paints.
O: But I have those too.
N: Tell us why you wanted the reel.
S: That reel – (he pointed to it, but decided it would be easier to see it up close and told Ohno to come over there) What's so special about it?
O: This size is good.
O: It's big. For summer fishing.
They'd all gathered near to check it out, but mischievous Jun noticed they were right next to the edge of the pit and reached out to grab Aiba around the shoulders. He shoved Aiba, intending to make him fall, but Aiba resisted and wrapped his arms around Jun's waist. They both stood there hugging, teetering on the edge as each one tried to keep his balance while throwing the other in. They held it for a few seconds, but both of them fell into the pit in the end, still clinging to each other. It was adorable and hilarious!
A: I have no idea why you did that!
The wonderful staff showed a replay of their fall.
The two of them climbed out of the pit and Ohno gave up trying to sell us on his beloved reel.
J: I'm sorry we can't give it to you.
The other part of Jun's lesson was a consultation corner. Arashi would listen to the fan's worries and think of a solution for them.
J: The biggest response came from problems with human relations.
The first person's message was from a girl who'd moved to a new place. For the last 3 months, she hadn't had much success with making friends. She couldn't tell any interesting stories.
S: I think with different people, you'll have different patterns. You should talk about your interests.
N: You could start a story and suddenly stop. I met this strange guy once...... Like that.
S: What you don't want to do is start laughing while your telling it.
He did his impression of a person laughing nonstop and trying to tell the same story.
N: You can start from what you did. I was walking down the street and... or I was riding my bike and...
J: You two talk a lot, but those two.... what about you?
Aiba and Ohno had been silent so far.
A: I don't think before, I just talk.
N: You should think a little.
A: And sometimes I laugh by myself. I'm not good at talking. It's only because we've been together for 15 years.
J: And Ohno?
O: If I was on my own, it'd be impossible. I'd never talk.
N: Even now, if you don't want to talk on a variety show, you don't talk at all.
J: Do you have a recent story?
O: The other day... For the first time... The first time!.... I went to a manga cafe.
We all “eh”ed at that.
O: I was with a friend and the shop we wanted to go to wasn't open yet, so he asked if I wanted to go. It was all manga!!
All of them replied, “Of course!”
O: And a drink corner... All you can drink... I thought “Eh?!” as I drank some.
At this point, the other four were laughing at how clueless Leader was.
O: And to get in, it was only 500 yen! I thought “Eh?!” The drinks are free... the manga is free... Ah, I guess it wasn't free. And there were showers too! It was amazing.
The others: …...
O: Nanda yo?! (What?!)
S: It's like we expect something more. “The showers and then~.”
J: So whatever you think is fun, you should try saying it. Don't think too hard.
A: Your friends will help you out too.
J: They'll think of what to say next. Right, Ohno-san?
O: Because we've been together so long, even if the story isn't amazing, it'll be fun talking about it.
J: So just relax and talk.
The next worry was from a person who had strangers fall asleep on their shoulder on the train. They were being crushed from their weight, but the person sitting on the other side noticed and scooted away, so give that person room to shift over. Eventually, the sleeping man ended up laying flat on the seat. How can I get out of that situation on my own?
J: Have any of you had this experience?
None of them raised their hands.
A: What do they mean by “being crushed”?
O: Is this from both sides?
Surprised, Jun said, “Like this?” and demonstrated two heads leaned against him from both sides.
Then began the demonstration series.
Aiba made a train seat by lining up two of the logs they were sitting on together and leaned against Sho's shoulder.
S: If I was listened to music, Arashi's “Daremo shiranai”, then I'd hum and do this.
He started humming the melody for the chorus and shaking his shoulders to the dance.
Aiba fell off right away. But they found it pretty funny, so they did it once more. That time, Aiba jerked upright and joined Sho with shaking his shoulders to the beat.
They switched rolls and Aiba said cheerfully, “I'm ready for you.” Sho leaned against him... and Aiba started sniffing him (most likely a reference to the Mongol greeting from before). We laughed at his silly face.
A: If it was me, I'd wait until the limit.
He made Nino be another person riding on the train, standing in front of him.
A: I'm getting off here, so switch with me.
He grabbed Nino's wrist, pulled him down, held up Sho's head with his other hand, and shoved Nino into his vacated spot. Once he'd put down Sho's head, he dashed off the train, leaving Nino there like that.
J: I guess that could work, if they won't wake up at all. Ohno?
O: I can't move away either.
This time, Ohno and Nino demonstrated. Nino leaned against Ohno. Slowly, Ohno started leaning in the other direction. When it looked like he might fall, Sho hurried over with his log chair and sat down too. He started tilting and Aiba quickly joined the line, leaning over until all of them toppled over, falling onto the floor.
O: I want everybody to experience it.
Next, it was Nino's turn. Ohno sat down next to him and immediately dropped his head on Nino's shoulder, sleeping with his mouth open.
N: It's only because it was me that it was okay.
Nino smacked him awake, lecturing that Ohno was only safe cuz it was him. If it had been anybody else, it would've been much worse. Ohno nodded at everything he said and looked alarmed.
N: Be careful.
O: I will. Thank you.
Ohno stood up, mumbling “Nino's so nice.”
A: Wait, where's my chair?
S: Ah, where's mine?
All four of them started inspecting the logs, trying to determine which was whose. Sho couldn't find his and one of the staff even came to help.
The last worry was about a person who wanted to know what to tell their friend was the most amazing part of Japan. Whether it be scenery, food, culture, words, festivals.
S: This is a serious one, isn't it?
J: It is.
A: Where would you take them? I'd bring them to Chiba. The fried seafood is amazing.
N: But what if they say, “I want to go to Tokyo”?
A: I'd take them to Tokyo Disney Land.
Aiba was set on staying in Chiba.
S: My serious answer would be Japanese gardens. I really like gardens and you can find many good places with them.
N: Akihabara's the place to go. There are so many electronics.
A: You go there a lot?
J: Where would you take them to?
N: Sengoku cafes. I'm usually this type (He gesture playing a hand-held video game), but if they think they'd like to go there, I'd bring them. They should talk to their friends and see where they want to go.
We cracked up at his answer.
O: Even a department store would do. The service in Japan is amazing. I'd like to show them that.
J: Yeah, there are plenty of services we over only in Japan. How about that one?
Ohno understood Jun's hint and did a cute version of Takezawa Crystal's “Omotenashi”. He looked kind of embarrassed afterward.
J: You want to show them people's hearts?
S: How about you?
Jun crossed his arms to think, but it looked more like a rapper's pose, so Sho called out “Yeah! Yeah!”
J: Food. There are so many kinds to try. Sushi, soba, ramen.
Jun finished up his lesson. “If you've got troubles, consult your friends. If you worry, you'll only be looking back, but if you think, you'll be moving forward. The character for believe (信じる) is made up of joining “talking to people” (人に言う). If you believe, your bonds will grow deeper.”
The final lesson was Ohno's.
O: You know that I'm Arashi's leader. The five of us are friends and co-workers, but if we hadn't met, then what would have happened to our futures?
They prepared a VTR of each member talking about their childhood dreams for the future.
Sho: I wrote on my elementary essay that I wanted to be a musician. There was a game orchestra conductor that I really liked, so whenever I imaged a musician, I thought “conductor”. I wanted to do it. And go abroad? I really wanted a standing ovation.
O: Sho is Arashi's pioneer. Without him, we would never have branched out into other genres like new caster or rapper.
Jun: I wanted to be a pro baseball player. I wasn't great, but like everybody, I hoped to go to Koshien and then go pro. I was a catcher, so maybe I could have taken Abe's place in the Kyojins.
O: Jun is Arashi's idea man. Without him, we would never have invented the moving stage and thought of so many ways to make our fans enjoy our concerts.
Aiba: I wanted to be Kinnikuman. I really wanted to do his buster attack. When I got into elementary school, I realized it would be impossible, so I thought about it more realistically. I wanted to be a president. A president with a mustache. At that time, my Dad had an awesome Mario mustache. What kind of president? Um, an IT president. This kind... (He gestured typing at a keyboard)
O: Aiba is Arashi's sun. For good or bad, Arashi wouldn't have had any miracle if he hadn't been in our group.
Nino: I wanted to be a pro baseball player. (He said it in an extremely cocky fashion). Me? I was good at anything. And I was left-handed.
O: Nino is Arashi's melody maker. Without him, there wouldn't have been anyone to make songs for the fans to love.
We all clapped along with Ohno.
J: You suddenly sounded so leader-like.
J: And you?
O: I'm the Leader.
O: Through a series of miracles, all of us met. Even everyone here today.... So let's sing together. We'll need a camp fire. (In English). Fire!! Come on!!!
In order to turn on the fire, he said in a sing-song voice, “Friendship fire!”
S: How terrifying!
Enjoying himself, he said it another two times with the fire as his background. He explained the song would consist of him singing “Friendship” and all of us would say “Fire”.
S: Like katakana, faiya?
O: No, fire. (Over-exaggerated English pronunciation) Say it four times.
S: In a row?
O: No, after I say “Friendship”. Then I'll say “Hey Friendship!” and you'll say “High touch!” and high five the person next to you.
He started singing randomly “Dakara friendship” and we ran through it once quietly. Then he added a title “Friendship de fire”. Ohno jumped right in again, singing “Dakara~”.
The sudden start had been too much for the members. They were all cracking up, but so were we.
We attempted his random song and I guess we must have done alright, cuz he suddenly moved on to the next part, to the others surprise.
O: Now if you meet someone that says “Friendship” to you, you'll automatically go “High touch!”.
He explained how the character for 友, friend, is made up of an image of two hands reaching out.
O: Since we have 15 years of episodes, I made an essay. Aiba-chan, do you remember? 5 years ago, during our 10th anniversary tour, we met in my room and Aiba-chan said, “let's drink!” We talked and Aiba-chan cried that he was so happy that we met, so because of him, I started crying too. Sho-chan showed up, looked at us and took a step back. Now it's a funny story for us. Thank you for always sticking together. May Arashi's friendship last forever.
A: I was the one who cried first?
O: Yeah. At first you were excited, then suddenly you were this close from my face, crying.
A: Even though we said we'd meet in Leader's room, it was only the two of us. Why?
N: I wasn't invited.
J: I didn't know either.
They started to analyze the events that led up to the drinking sessions and the conclusion was that after the meeting with the concert staff, the five of them split up, with Sho, Aiba, and Ohno taking the same elevator and talking about getting together to drink later.
S: I say that, but it only took 10 minutes after getting out of that meeting until I went to Ohno's room. And yet, when I got there, the two of them were already in tears.
A: The two of us do go drinking together a lot. Next time, let's all go together.
Ohno's ending speech was about the different types of friends there were. 1, a useful friend. 2, a friend with the same goal as you. 3, a real friend that will stick with you through anything.
O: The time you spend with your friends is very important.
Sho rang the bell, signal ling the end of class.
S: How were your classes? What did we learn?
N: If you work together, you can herd sheep.
S: Just 3 questions can make you new friends.
A: Exchanging bentos is a way to get to know your friends better.
J: You should talk about your worries together.
O: We can't say “thank you” very often. Sometimes, just being there is enough.
O: “High touch!”
The two of them high-fived.
Ohno introduced the “Friendship Bus” that Arashi had decorated and rode into the dome at the beginning.
O: We'll be running the bus around the city on July 20th, Friends Day. Please check the J Storm website for the details.
A: And last is...
S: The school theme.
J: Furusato. Please sign the last part with us.
Nino pulled out his guitar and played the first half of the song. Then the members got up and walked out to two separate carts for the rest. Ohno and Aiba were on our side first. The song ended, but they continued their trip around the dome.
A: You can make those chicken wings too!
N&J: High touch!
Ohno wanted to do the circle one more time to finished the gasshuku. We stood up and joined them again.
N: We made lots of friends!
They all high-fived and switched over to the Friendship Bus. Aiba was the last one on, calling, “I'm coming!”. The bus did one lap around the dome and left through the place it had entered.
The VTR at the end showed how they painted the bus. They were all concentrating hard on staying within the lines.
S: Yabe!! (The line he was painting started to drip down)
Someone had asked what was wrong, but he quickly tried wiping it away.
S: Uh... it's nothing!
Nino climbed on the roof to do some of his painting. Ohno was responsible for painting part of the purple part and Jun watching him, smiling.
All of them did the recording for the “Yahoooo”s at the beginning then too. Ohno's last “hooo” was great, according to Sho.
They applied star stickers to the now-dry bus. Once again, they reminded us they'd be running the bus through the town on the 20th. The last thing the video showed was one of the boy scout pictures of all five of them.
Waku Waku School ended around 7:45 and our section was pretty much the last to get out. The rain wasn't a problem, so I got home at decent time. I won't be joining tomorrow's lessons, but boblemon should be going once. Maybe you can expect a report from her.